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I started in the pool industry in 2001, worked for two different structural subcontractors, started my subcontracting company in 2007, and started my pool company in 2010. To say it has been a rough road for the last 11 years running two companies at a time doesn't even come close. During the slow economy I did all of the structural, mechanical, and waterproofing on all of my pools for the first few years and all was great. Our product was exactly what I thought it should be, but there just wasn't enough of it to keep me busy and I decided to close the subcontracting company and open the shop to fill the gaps. As soon as the shop started to take off, the pool company did too and we had to start subcontracting work out as I was really kind of over doing it all myself at that point. Letting someone else do the hard work sounds far easier than it is, especially when you are not building cookie-cutter projects. It got to the point that there were so many mistakes made that I would go to inspect work and wonder if I could catch all of it. Pages of punch lists at times, it was really that bad. They couldn't seem to even grasp the basics in many cases and frustration over that escalated. Admittedly, the lack of competency in the workforce had me on the edge of fury at times. I knew that it was time to come up with an exit plan as it was not taking me in a direction that I wanted to go nor could I glorify God through that company while being so frustrated with it. I finally realized that I could not train people to care about what they are building or make them comprehend simple details on a plan, had my fill of that, and decided I would go back in the field as hardcore as I could physically stand until all existing projects were done and we would close the company or I would simply walk away and let my partner have the entire company, for free. To say that I am over it doesn't come close either and it has been a very hard year for me getting all of this work done. My partner thought I was nuts, but the work is done. You never know what a man can do when he is determined or if the goal is his freedom, or both in my case. 

I'm quite excited about it being over and being left at the shop to work in peace now, finally. Being split between two companies has required me to work long hours 7 days a week, finally tapering down to 6 days a week over the last couple of years, and now I can join the regular workforce with a 5 day week at the shop and actually do something for myself on Saturday if I want, or do nothing at all but relax. I am curious to see what I can get done at the shop in a week without constant interruption from the other company and there are a lot of ideas rattling around my head that I will finally be able to set in motion. I have quite a bit of catching up to do, but it shouldn't take me all that long. When my backlog is cleared it should start to get interesting. Simple product will start to trickle out and services will expand. I want to humbly thank all of my customers for their patience and support. It has been a very long, physically brutal, and mentally frustrating road, but I have finally made it to the finish line with the pool company and all that is left are legal details, overseeing some concrete work, and some simple day here day there work if I decide I want to do it in the meantime. Glory to God for strengthening me that I might work hard and still come out on the other side of it in reasonably good health for someone who is about to turn 45. Being at the shop never felt much like work, so I consider myself retired and I feel like the most blessed guy on the planet to be retired at 44 years old.    

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Congrats Evl. Being able to make a living doing what you want to do is priceless in terms of its effects on our health, attitude, and mental well being. Good to hear you giving glory to God, and I look forward to seeing what you are going to turn out of your shop now that you have more time. 

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"Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life."

Congrats on taking the plunge into full time something you love. Best wishes for your continued success!

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Congrats on your new life.

I am 9 months into my new life and love it so much I never think of dealing with what I used to do.

Health is coming back , weight is dropping  totally  off meds.

Life is great, Good luck

FL is a great place to hang it up

 

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Matthew 6:24

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
 

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im jealous, i came to florida to semi retire, and did, but other things made me not.

 

i hope you do well. its so much nicer half worrying about shit....

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3 hours ago, ChileRelleno said:

Matthew 6:24

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
 

I always thought of that verse as serving God vs the world, but it nails what it has been like with two companies. One was like a prison sentence and the other is a holiday. I never felt like I actually gained anything from the pool company and my staying involved was more of a sense of obligation to my partner and his family. We both have better things to do now, finally. 

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I appreciate the well wishes. Today was peaceful. My dog was even happy, lol. I'll practice taking Saturdays off tomorrow if I don't get stir crazy ;) It took me a long time to get settled with taking Sundays off, but I am sure I'll get used to doing what I want with Saturdays.

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i can tell you this - i do millwork installations for lowes under a contractor and we cant get ANY competant help that can pass a background check. its pretty ridiculous. nevermind factory mistakes, damaged products, mismeasurements, wrong this, wrong that,  didnt sell the customer new locksets....its endless. half of my day consists of checking everything everyone did or didnt do before i break my ass in the heat.

 

you should make saturday "me" day. im just now getting saturdays off, but next week, i have about 30 windows and 6 or 7 doors to install.... so my weekend is shot because i have to rest, and not work on my own shit.

 

i miss working one week a month. you need to enjoy it, man....

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I may be too high strung for 2 real days off in a row until I settle with the idea. This anxiousness started when my youngest daughter died and I think it is a subconscious nagging that tomorrow may not come for me and there is an urge to do it now, do it today. I always pictured myself at 40+ working (5) 8 hours days and then sitting in an EZ chair all weekend watching sports and drinking beer, but none of that is my reality, lol. Sports offer too much disappointment, my head and wallet can't handle beer like they used to, and if I sit too long my back hurts. It is about 10am here and I'm already about to go nuts knowing it isn't Sunday, lol. There is some preparatory work that I need to do so I can move the lathe and CNC machine next week. Pretty light work and I don't have any appointments today, so I figure it will be better to do it today incomplete peace than to try to get it done during the week. After that I will do yard work. This light day plan should be pretty close to relaxing compared to what Saturdays are usually like (a marathon-like hustle) and it should make for a Sunday that is really like a rest day.

It will be nice again to have one day a week that I could spend working on my own guns again and not have to rush about it. I have lists of home and vehicle projects that I need to get done before I mess with much personal gun work though. My work schedule has really consumed the opportunity to do anything else for so long. It has been all I could do to keep the yard looking nice and sneak in an oil change in a rush. With it cooling off here, kind of, I see some Saturday afternoon bicycle rides on the horizon.  

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do what you want to and put off other things that you want to is my rule.

It helps by understanding that the real person you are is not defined by how you have worked to provide for your family.

Having been called out at any hour all my life has allowed me to realize this truth. Some of my friends miss work because that is who they are. I do not miss a thing because I am not my job or what I have done.

I am much more. more than I ever knew.

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I think it might take me nearly a year to get caught up on all of the projects that I have been wanting to do, but I'll get them done now in my own time. I think the mental effect of not being slammed and spread so thin may make me move a bit more efficiently as well. I can feel the sense of urgency leaving my mind already.

Well stated. I used to sacrifice everything to keep my businesses moving, but I can't say that it really made a dime's worth of difference. Looking back, it was complete vanity. Now, I can take whatever time I want to be with family, any day of the week, provided there is no last minute notice and I don't have appointments scheduled. 

Lately, I have rediscovered the value of complete silence. For whatever reason, my ears don't ring as bad as they used to and I can enjoy it again. 

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try doing what i do (sometimes unintentially) and not speak for an entire day, for any reason. its a lot harder than you think  it is, but it gives you this peaceful feeling that i honestly cant explain or get any other way.

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Just a consideration since you get to set your schedule..  

I take Sunday morning off for Church, and I take either a Wednesday or Thursday off every other week.... I hate weekends, everything I want to do is overcrowded on weekends.. Wednesdays are generally great days to take off, the boat launches are empty, state parks are pretty much empty, beaches are empty.. Theme parks not as crowded, the public rifle/pistol range has like three people at it.. If I need to do some banking or shopping everything is open and well stocked.

My Wife works retail and when she applied she stated that she wanted to work weekends... She got put in a higher position job because she was happy to work weekends.

Edited by csspecs
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I retired in April, mostly due to a major medical problem that won't go away without major surgery. I have not missed any part of that place. I'll be glad when the deductions have stabilized out of my pension, but we expected some income turbulence. We've spent more time in the camper this summer than we have at home. A test of sorts for future full-time travel. We're home now, for the winter most likely. Hopefully we can tie up some loose ends that will make next summer even better.

 

Enjoy your retirement! 

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On 10/5/2018 at 6:03 PM, ChileRelleno said:

Matthew 6:24

No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
 

I was going to say something, but Chile took it away with this.

 

Have a good time of it.

Edited by Photoguy
Missed "
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20 hours ago, YOT said:

I retired in April, mostly due to a major medical problem that won't go away without major surgery. I have not missed any part of that place. I'll be glad when the deductions have stabilized out of my pension, but we expected some income turbulence. We've spent more time in the camper this summer than we have at home. A test of sorts for future full-time travel. We're home now, for the winter most likely. Hopefully we can tie up some loose ends that will make next summer even better.

 

Enjoy your retirement! 

It is great that in spite of the situation not being planned or ideal, healthwise and financially, you are still able to get out and enjoy yourself. I have known a lot of people who never even made it to retirement or simply not in the health or financial condition to do much after they got there. We hope to do some traveling after I get things caught up at the shop. We are going a different route though. I always wanted to go cross country in a convertible and God provided the car (amazing story behind that) and the opportunity. I think Yellowstone would be amazing with the top down, save the animal encounters. We'll be putting the top up for those parts. The trunk is so small that we will have to travel really light, backpacks. I like that. I want to be as close to get in the car and go' as possible.

 

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19 hours ago, Photoguy said:

I was going to say something, but Chile took it away with this.

 

Have a good time of it.

It hasn't taken me long to start enjoying it. Working at the shop doesn't feel much like work and I can finally have a schedule that resembles normality. I never felt like I deserved it, bit I am extremely thankful for it. Glory to God for planning my life better than I can. I've been praying for direction for a while and piece by piece things have fallen into place. One of the things about being spread so thin that was really getting to me was having to pass on some men's ministry events in favor of getting pool work done that couldn't wait. Now I can arrange things such that I can make all of them. We mainly try to help anyone not able in the community with harder physical work around their home. 

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Sounds great.

I would love a break from being a small business owner. It's been very tempting lately to be an employee with fixed paycheck and fixed hours/ hours off. My wife would feel a lot better about that too.

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On 10/7/2018 at 11:18 AM, csspecs said:

Just a consideration since you get to set your schedule..  

I take Sunday morning off for Church, and I take either a Wednesday or Thursday off every other week.... I hate weekends, everything I want to do is overcrowded on weekends.. Wednesdays are generally great days to take off, the boat launches are empty, state parks are pretty much empty, beaches are empty.. Theme parks not as crowded, the public rifle/pistol range has like three people at it.. If I need to do some banking or shopping everything is open and well stocked.

My Wife works retail and when she applied she stated that she wanted to work weekends... She got put in a higher position job because she was happy to work weekends.

 

Ditto. My wife's work week is currently offset. So I tend to do half days on mondays or tuesdays (her weekend) and make up for it on saturday afternoon. A weekday with her is a lot more fun than a weekend. When I was in high school, my stepmother was an avid skiier with thursdays off. I would do my schoolwork ahead and go ski with her on a regular basis, not having to share the hill or waste time waiting in line at all. And they were discounted. It made us into snow snobs. Midweek weekends work great for play. Not so much for playing with friends though.

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3 hours ago, gunfun said:

Sounds great.

I would love a break from being a small business owner. It's been very tempting lately to be an employee with fixed paycheck and fixed hours/ hours off. My wife would feel a lot better about that too.

I don't like working with or for other people. When it comes to work, I am wired for complete solitude and most happy in that state. No other hands or minds around to screw things up, lol.

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11 hours ago, evlblkwpnz said:

I don't like working with or for other people. When it comes to work, I am wired for complete solitude and most happy in that state. No other hands or minds around to screw things up, lol.

I take it that you are a mechanically inclined introvert. I am exactly the same way. Solitude and a machine to tinker with and I am happy.

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On 10/5/2018 at 8:57 PM, evlblkwpnz said:

I always thought of that verse as serving God vs the world, but it nails what it has been like with two companies. One was like a prison sentence and the other is a holiday. I never felt like I actually gained anything from the pool company and my staying involved was more of a sense of obligation to my partner and his family. We both have better things to do now, finally. 

yep, dave ramsey says the only ship that wont sail is a partnership, cause of lifes rabbit warren of potential problems....

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On 10/7/2018 at 12:18 PM, csspecs said:

the public rifle/pistol range has like three people at it..

less chances of getting perforated fo sho!!!  and better conversations with more relaxed atmosphere!  can hog all the brass, its glorious! 

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11 hours ago, Heartbreaker said:

I take it that you are a mechanically inclined introvert. I am exactly the same way. Solitude and a machine to tinker with and I am happy.

I'm very outgoing outside of work, but I am so much happier being able to immerse myself into my work, whatever it is.

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